Study Maps Effects of Acupuncture on The Brain

ScienceDaily (2010-02-05) — New research about the effects of acupuncture on the brain may provide an understanding of the complex mechanisms of acupuncture and could lead to a wider acceptability of the treatment.

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Integrative Hospital Associates
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Acupuncture Found Effective for Back Pain- Study Finds it Superior to Usual Care

From Acupuncture Today, July, 2009, Vol. 10, Issue 07

There seems to be no question that Americans spend a great deal of money dealing with back pain. According to research, we spend at least $37 billion annually on medical care for back pain.1,2 Furthermore, the economy suffers another $19.8 billion in lost worker productivity due to back pain.3

In response to this, there has been extensive research on the use of acupuncture for treating back pain. A 2008 literature review concluded that there was “strong evidence” for the use of acupuncture as an adjunct to conventional therapy for lower back pain.4

Now, a new study published in the May 11, 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine has added even further to the literature on the value of acupuncture in treating back pain.5

Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, and colleagues examined a group of 638 patients suffering from back pain to determine not only if acupuncture is superior to usual care for treating back pain, but to see if needle insertion at individualized points is the mechanism of action by which acupuncture works best. A total of 10 acupuncture treatments was provided over the course of eight weeks.

Study Design: The researchers started by dividing the patients into four groups:

Individualized acupuncture: This treatment was prescribed by the diagnostician at the beginning of each visit. There were no constraints on number of needles, depth of insertion or needle manipulation. Needles were retained for 18 minutes. Seventy-four distinct points were used.

Standardized acupuncture: This protocol used a standardized acupuncture prescription considered effective for chronic low back pain, including Du 3, Bladder 23 on either side, low back Ashi point, Bladder 40 on ether side and Kidney 3 on either side. All points were needled for 20 minutes, with needle stimulation at 10 minutes and again just prior to removal.

Simulated acupuncture: This technique used a toothpick in a needle guide tube. All acupuncture points were stimulated with toothpicks at 10 minutes and again at 20 minutes, just before they were “removed.” The acupuncturists simulated insertion and removal of needles at the eight acupuncture points used in the standardized treatment.

Usual care: Participants in this group only received the care, if any, they and their physicians chose. This was mainly mostly medications, and primary care, and physical therapy visits. All participants received a self-care book with information on managing flare-ups, exercises and lifestyle modifications.


At 8-week follow up, all groups of patients showed improvement. However, the “usual care” group only improved by 2.1 points (scored on a disability questionnaire), as opposed to the individualized, standardized and simulated acupuncture groups, which improved by 4.4, 4.5 and 4.4 points, respectively. The greater improvement for the acupuncture groups over usual care continued all the way to 52 weeks, at the end of the study. Of those patients receiving real acupuncture, only 11 reported any side effects.

Interestingly, at the end of the study, there was little difference between the four acupuncture treatment groups in terms of effectiveness. The researchers speculated that this may mean that acupuncture’s actual mechanism of action may not be clear and that further research is warranted.

Nevertheless, they concluded, “Compared with usual care, individualized acupuncture, standardized acupuncture and simulated acupuncture had beneficial and persisting effects on chronic back pain. These treatments resulted in clinically meaningful improvements in function. … For clinicians and patients seeking a relatively safe and effective treatment for a condition for which conventional treatments are often ineffective, various methods of acupuncture point stimulation appear to be reasonable options, even though the mechanism of action remains unclear.

According to Josephine P. Briggs, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “The findings of this research show that acupuncture-like treatments, including simulated acupuncture, can elicit positive responses. This adds to the growing body of evidence that there is something meaningful taking place during acupuncture treatments outside of actual needling. Future research is needed to delve deeper into what is evoking these responses.”

Commentary from Dr. Denny: This interesting study compares usual or standard medical care with individualized acupuncture care, standard acupuncture care and simulated acupuncture care. All three types of acupuncture care produced better results than usual medical care. What makes this a fascinating study is the apparent benefit from the simulated acupuncture care. It is described as stimulating the acupuncture points with toothpicks on the skin. For those of you reading who are not familiar with acupuncture, there are many acupuncture techniques. There are also acupuncture techniques which do not involve puncturing the skin, which have been reported in Japanese acupuncture for generations. In fact, the Japanese have developed many devices to accomplish non-needle techniques such as Tei-shin, Yuko-shin and others. Many of these devices are used for the needle-phobic patient as well as in pediatric acupuncture. In addition there is an entire system of Japanese acupuncture where needles are not inserted or only superficially inserted on or over acupuncture points. This is called Toyohari.

In summary, acupuncture has many styles. Simply because needles are not inserted, does not make the treatment a “simulation.” Once again we see how difficult it is to “blind” treatments which actually involve patient participation. This method makes sense when you give someone a placebo sugar pill, but is very difficult to assess the effectiveness of hands-on type of treatments.

For more information on Chinese medicine including the different styles of acupuncture please click on this link to receive my free ebook “How to Thrive in a Modern World.” 

If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practices please visit or Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.


1. Luo X, Pietrobon R, Sun SX, et al. Estimates and patterns of direct health care expenditures among individuals with back pain in the United States. Spine. 2004 Jan 1;29(1):79-86.

2. Martin BI, Deyo RA, Mirza SK, et al. Expenditures and health status among adults with back and neck problems. JAMA. 2008 Feb 13;299(6):656-64.

3. Stewart WF, Ricci JA, Chee E, et al. Lost productive time and cost due to common pain conditions in the US workforce. JAMA. 2003 Nov 12;290(18):2443-54.

4. Yuan J, Purepong N, Kerr DP, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture for low back pain: a systematic review. Spine. 2008 Nov 1;33(23):E887-900.

5. Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Avins AL, et al. A randomized trial comparing acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and usual care for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med. 2009 May 11;169(9):858-66.

Scott Denny, PhD Invited to Join the HEEL Rx Club

About nine months ago the HEEL Rx Club started its work. The intention was to create a club that provides something special and adds some useful benefits to the practice of natural medicine, and in particular the use of HEEL natural medicine sin their injectable form to which oftentimes have a turbo effect in helping patients with a variety of health conditions.


The HEEL Rx Club now has approximately 500 members and Scott Denny, PhD, AP, DOM is one of those original members because of his work in natural medicine.


Heel was originally founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1979 by Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, MD, as Biological Homeopathic Industries (BHI). Dr. Reckeweg, who also founded Heel in Baden-Baden, Germany in 1936, relocated to the United States to continue his scientific investigations and introduce U.S. practitioners to Homotoxicology and the Heel products involved in its application.


Today, Heel is one of the largest homeopathic pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world, with distribution in over 60 countries. “Heel” stands for Herba est ex luce, which translates to: “plants come from the light”.


If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practice please visit or Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.


Study: Americans use ‘alternative’ treatments for chronic pain

Americans frequently use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to deal with chronic pain, according to a comprehensive federal survey.

Thirty-eight percent of adults and 12 percent of children use some form of CAM, which is also called “integrative’ medicine, according to the report by the National Center for Health Statistics. Unlike alternative treatments, CAM methods are often used in conjunction with conventional treatment practices. 

For adults, CAM use has remained steady since the last survey was taken in 2002. But the most recent data shows increases in the use of acupuncture, deep breathing, meditation, massage therapy and yoga.

What the study doesn’t reflect is how many people are interested in CAM “but don’t know how to pursue it,” said Robert Dumont, a Loyola University Health System pediatrician who practices CAM–including Chinese medicine, herbal, acupuncture and homeopathy–and was not involved in the research.

“There’s a silent majority that doesn’t have the wherewithal or know-how to approach it. No one has ever quizzed people: ‘If you could safely do this, would you?'” he said.

Also, more people would pursue CAM if more doctors offered it, he said. But, he added that “I find that physicians in general are more resistant [to CAM] than patients.”

Still, the numbers may help guide research agenda.

“What I’m most struck with is how people are turning to CAM methods to treat chronic pain,” said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM.) “This has important implications for where we need to invest research dollars.”

Adults used CAM most often to treat pain including back pain or problems, neck pain or problems, joint pain or stiffness/other joint condition, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

The most commonly used CAM therapies among U.S. adults were:  Nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (17.7 percent) Most common: fish oil/omega 3/DHA, glucosamine, echinacea, flaxseed oil or pills, and ginseng, Deep breathing exercises (12.7 percent), Meditation (9.4 percent), Chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (8.6 percent), Massage (8.3 percent), Yoga (6.1 percent).

Who uses CAM?  

Women (42.8 percent, compared to men 33.5 percent), Those aged 30-69 (30-39 years: 39.6 percent, 40-49 years: 40.1 percent, 50-59 years: 44.1 percent, 60-69 years: 41.0 percent), Those with higher levels of education (Masters, doctorate or professional: 55.4 percent) , Those who were not poor (poor: 28.9 percent, near poor: 30.9 percent, not poor: 43.3 percent), Those living in the West (44.6 percent), Those who have quit smoking (48.1 percent).

CAM Use Among Children?

Overall, about 1 in 9 children use CAM methods, but the researchers noted the numbers might be higher than results indicate, especially among adolescents who might not tell their parents they were using CAM methods. Children are five times more likely to use CAM if a parent or other relative uses CAM, the survey found.

Other characteristics of adult and child CAM users are similar—factors such as socioeconomic status, geographic region, the number of health conditions, the number of doctor visits in the last 12 months, and delaying or not receiving conventional care because of cost are all associated with CAM use. 

Among children who used CAM in the past 12 months, CAM therapies were used most often for back or neck pain, head or chest colds, anxiety or stress, other musculoskeletal problems, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD).

 The most commonly used CAM therapies among children were: Nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (3.9 percent) Most common: echinacea, fish oil/omega 3/DHA, combination herb pill, flaxseed oil or pills, and prebiotics or probiotics, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation (2.8 percent), Deep breathing exercises (2.2 percent), Yoga (2.1 percent).

 The survey, conducted as part of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), had several limitations. It relied on the respondents’ memory and or their willingness to accurately report their use of CAM. The data was also collected at a single point in time so it didn’t follow an individual’s use of CAM.  

If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practice please visit or Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.

Medicine For The 21st Century – Helping Your Body Heal Itself Naturally

Why biological medicine?

More and more people are choosing biological medication when ill.  The reason for this change is two-fold; the growing awareness and benefit of living a healthy lifestyle and, concerns over the possible side effects of chemical drugs.

What does the term “biological medicine” really mean?

Biological medicine is treating the body as the whole system which means treating mind, body and spirit.  Biological medicine helps the body heal itself through the activation of its own defence mechanisms.  This concept of biological medicine is also found in homotoxicology and homeopathy.

What is homoeopathy?

Dr. Saumel Hahnemann developed the area of medicine known as homoeopathy over 150 years ago.  Homoeopathy can best be described as treating an illness with a medicinal substance which, in a healthy individual, causes symptoms similar to those of the disease itself.  Like an inoculation, homoeopathic medicine activates the body’s own defense mechanism and stimulates the immune system into action.

Why are homoeopathic medications diluted?

Almost all medicinal substances used in homoeopathy are derived from plants.  They are diluted, or attenuated (homoeopathically processed), in order to prevent the individual from reacting too violently to the medicinal substances.  An alchol solution is used to attenuate medications taken as drops, sterile saline water for ampoules and lactose (milk sugar) is used for tablets.

What is homotoxicology?

Expanding on the fundamentals of homoeopathy, Dr. H.H. Reckeweg developed homotoxicology views illness as the bodys natural process of defense against the disease-causing materials known as homotoxins.  These body defense processes manifest themselves in a variety of symptoms such as fever, inflammation, dirrhea, weakness and general malaise. Dr.H.H. Reckeweg used his own medications that he termed “antihomotoxic” preparations when treating patients.

How do antihomotoxic preparations work?

Antihomotoxic preparations consist of a number of medicinally active, homoeopathically processed substances.   Each component amplifies the effectiveness of the others, thus providing effective help to an even complicated pathological processes. Antihomotoxic preparations activate the body’s own defensive system, thereby neutralizing the disease causing homotoxins.

For which diseases can antihomotoxic preparations be prescribed?

Antihomotoxic medications are successfully employed in treating chronic illnesses, ailments of the respiratory system, worn joints and rheumatic disorders.  Also, excellent therapeutic results can be achieved when treating gastrointestinal tract disoreders, dissiness, influenza etc.  Antihomotoxic medications should always be taken under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

What are the advantages of antihomotoxic medication?

Antihomotoxic preparations have very few side effects and they may easily be combined with other types of medications.  This advantage is particularly important to chronically ill patients who are required to take several medications at the same time.  It means reducing the unpredictable risks of intolerance and side effects, thereby improving the quality of life for the patient.

If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practices please visit or Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.

Safe Alternatives for the Treatment of Cold, Cough and Flu

The standard treatment of common winter ailments is mainly based on the suppression of symptoms. Patients take antibiotics, cough syrups and pain medications without consideration for the short and long term consequences. These medications do have consequences and never address making the patient’s own immune system function better. Instead they suppress the body’s own protective mechanisms (fever, sweating, cough) along with producing side effects.


For example, the FDA has issued a Public Health Advisory to parents recommending that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products should not be used to treat infants and children less than 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur from such use. According to the FDA’s news release there are a wide variety of rare, serious adverse events reported with cough and cold products. They include convulsions, rapid heart rates, decreased levels of consciousness and death. These side effects are not just limited to children and many adults experience problems. This leaves patients to wonder what treatments are safe and effective.


Heel offers safe, effective and natural medicines for adults and children suffering from common cold and flu symptoms. Physicians may confidently recommend many Heel medicines for their patients including:


  • Viburcol® liquid drops for restlessness and fever in children (1)
  • Nectadyn (formerly CoughFree) syrup for coughs (recommended for ages 2 and up)
  • Sinusin™ (formerly Euphorbium Nasal Spray) for nasal congestion, headache and viral infections (2)
  • Traumeel® ear drops for ear pain, inflammation and ear congestion
  • Engystol® for the treatment of viral infections (injectable, tabs)(3)
  • Gripp-Heel® for the acute onset of cold and flu symptoms (injectable, tabs)
  • Lymphomyosot® for the treatment of swollen lymph nodes and support of immune function


These products act rapidly to soothe and relieve the discomfort of cold and flu symptoms without overdosing precautions or suppressive side effects. There are no concerns about the combination of Heel medications and any standard pharmaceuticals. These products are available through health care practitioners, pharmacies and health food stores.

Heel Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Heel GmbH, which is one of the world’s largest homeopathic pharmaceutical manufacturers with distribution in over 60 countries.

If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practice please visit or Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.  

Engystol Injection as a Prophylactic for Common Colds and Flu

As the cold and flu season approaches we want to prepare our practices for the influx of patients presenting with colds and flu. We also want to keep our patients as healthy as possible and give them the added benefit of staving off the flu or common cold to the best of our ability. You now have such a tool with Engystol®.


Engystol® is a combination homeopathic injectable containing Asclepias vincetoxicum (6X, 10X, 30X) and sulfur (4x, 10x). The specific indication for Engystol® is the activation of the non specific immune systems, particularly in influenza-like infections and viral diseases in general. The medication comes in injectable ampules, oral vials and tablets, but specifically we are looking at the injectable form with the following study.


Dr. Heilmann conducted a study looking at the prophylactic effects of Engystol® on a population of 102 healthy males, to assess the effectiveness of prevention of colds and flu. This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.1 The men were given twice weekly injections of either Engystol® or isotonic saline, for three weeks, then observed for eight weeks following the injections.


Overall, there was no difference in frequency of occurrence with colds or flu between the groups. However, there was a considerable difference in the length of time between the last injection and the onset of either a cold or the flu, with the Engystol® group running an average of 34 days and the control group only going 19 days, before they became infected with either a cold or the flu. The length of illness was also substantially different between the groups, with the Engystol® group having an average length of illness for 11 days and the control group with the length of illness being 16 days. Based on set criteria in the study, the severity of the illness was also less for the Engystol® group, compared to the control.


So, with the duration of illness being shorter, the severity of symptoms less and the greater length of time between cessation of the injections and the onset of illness with the Engystol® group, we can hypothesize that Engystol® made a significant difference in the treatment for colds and flu. The application of Engystol® as an immunomodulator is favorable in the treatment of uncomplicated viral infections. Engystol® also provides the added benefit of no known side effects, contraindications or drug interactions. Therefore with most patients, you should be able to easily add Engystol® into a prophylactic protocol for protecting your patient population from the unwelcome effects of colds or the flu this season. Dr. Denny uses this and many other natural medicine products to treat a variety of conditions.



From the Heeling Today Newsletter.


1-Heilmann, MD. A Combination Injection Preparation as a Prophylactic for Flu and Common Colds. Biological Therapy 1994, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 249-253.


If you would like more information about Dr. Denny’s practice please visit or Please call 954-473-8925 for further information.